Former F1 team boss suggested as ideal candidate for Haas COO role

Otmar Szafnauer has been earmarked as the ideal candidate to bolster the Haas F1 team’s management structure. 
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas VF-23 leaves the pits. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 23, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas VF-23 leaves the pits. Formula 1 World…

Haas have already confirmed that Ayao Komatsu will replace the departing Guenther Steiner as team principal for the upcoming 2024 season, but the American outfit are also seeking a chief operating officer.  

And ex-F1-driver-turned-pundit Ralf Schumacher believes former Alpine boss Szafnauer would be the perfect candidate, and a better option than somebody like former Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, due to his experience at leading smaller organisations in the past.  

Speaking on the YouTube channel, Schumacher said: “Otmar is someone who is well-known in Formula 1 and who also has expertise. One thing is technical expertise.

“But the other thing is to go out and look for good minds, sometimes at universities. Having this foresight and generating new people to take the team forward is a skill that I trust Otmar to have. 

“I can’t imagine Mattia Binotto doing that. He’s also more associated with Audi. But I don’t quite see how that fits in with Andreas Seidl. I’m curious about that.” 

Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Alpine F1 Team, Team Principal. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest,
Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Alpine F1 Team, Team Principal. Formula 1 World…

Schumacher added that Szafnauer “knows small structures and can get a lot out of them. That is also crucial. What’s the point of getting someone who previously had 1,000 people under him? He’ll find it difficult at first.”

Despite previously being highly critical of Steiner for the way he managed his nephew, Mick, Schumacher has described the popular Italian’s exit as a “shame” for F1. 

“He was a brand,” he said. “It’s a shame because another character type from Formula 1 is leaving. But perhaps it was also time to fill the position with a new one. Only time will tell.

“He brought attention to the team and the sponsors. That was good. 

“But I think Gene Haas was too embarrassed to always drive round the back.”

Read More